CANMORE – Canmore Fire-Rescue is recovering from extreme cold conditions after it battled a house fire late Monday evening.
Canmore Fire-Rescue (CFRS) was called to Spring Creek Mountain Village around 8:35 p.m. Monday (Jan. 13) with reports a house in the area was on fire.
“On arrival, we found heavy fire and smoke coming from a manufactured home,” wrote Chief Walter Gahler in an email.
“We identified the owner, confirmed there was no one in the building and proceeded with attacking the fire.”
Station-1 is clearing after knocking down a fire in a local residence in wind chills of minus 41. Three main fire attack engines and 15 firefighters were deployed. #UnderControl #StructureFire #SubSubSubZero pic.twitter.com/Rc3HWht6qC— Canmore Fire Rescue (@CanmoreFireRes) January 14, 2020
Gahler said while one of the homeowners was transported to hospital with minor injuries, there were no other injuries experienced by firefighters battling the blaze in the cold.
The firefighters who attended the scene dealt with challenging conditions, according to Gahler.
“CFRS had 14 firefighters on scene along with a fire investigator and two chief officers,” he said.
“Conditions were extremely challenging. Temperatures were around -30 C, equipment freezing, visibility near zero and water/ice/snow making the area difficult to manoeuvre in.”
Very proud of our @CanmoreFireRes team tonight. Tough conditions; handled with strength and poise. Our thoughts and support goes out to the affected family. And a big thanks to our first response partners @RCMPAlberta @ahs_ems @ATCOGas pic.twitter.com/jlXALBHHaS— Walter Gahler (@CanmoreFrChief) January 14, 2020
While the fire chief said no firefighters suffered any injuries, the workload and environment were extreme. The first truck was on scene within nine minutes and the fire was put out around 11:15 p.m. However, the home itself has been mostly destroyed.
“The fire was extinguished and the house appears to be a loss. However, properties on either side were protected and no further loss occurred,” wrote Gahler.
The cause of the blaze is still under investigation, but Gahler said early indications are it started accidentally due to attemping to thaw frozen plumbing.
“Town of Canmore family services and RCMP victim services units are reaching out to the family,” said Gahler.
“On behalf of Canmore Fire-Rescue, we offer our support and condolences to the family. We would like to remind everyone to exercise extreme caution when using heat sources and to take care of each other in these extreme weather conditions.”
The community has stepped up to help the family, as their home has been completely destroyed. Many items have already been gathered for the family of four over the short term.
Those who wish to help are asked to donate gift cards from local businesses that the family can use for essentials at this time – like groceries, or clothing. Gift cards can be dropped off at Canmore Family Eyecare – #101-712 Bow Valley Trail.